Monday, February 23, 2009

The South Atlantic

Latest Position as of 02/23/09 at 1633Z 27 17.306S 006 53.340E (over 700 miles from Cape Town - nearly half way to St Helena)

We spoke with Zac early this morning. He is doing really well. He did have his auto pilot come apart last night but since Intrepid can steer herself when going into the wind (don't quote me on the exact terminology - I wasn't taking notes!) he turned Intrepid into the wind and was able to fix the loose bearing without too much trouble. He had quite a bit of wind with a gust up to 37 knots showing on his wind meter! Since he is going downwind (the wind is behind him) it wasn't too dramatic. He has altered course slightly westward due to some sea mounts on the rhumb line that are known for crazy seas and many fishing boats. This knowledge, thanks to a great cruising guide to the Atlantic that he and Laurence picked up in Cape Town.

Zac still has a ways to go and has not been able to rig up a charger for his sat phone so our conversation was short. Otherwise the boat is doing well. Zac is playing around with his high frequency radio trying to get onto any South Atlantic Net.

I asked our world cruising expert, Rob Jordan, for his take on any option for Zac to head to Brazil after stopping in at St Helena. Zac had asked this question as well and our only answer was that it would take too long and that it wasn't very safe there. Ron agreed with the taking too long part. The currents in the area are contrary until rounding the easternmost point of South America and the living/sanitary conditions there are quite poor almost assured to result in illness on Zac's part. We will regroup and see how Intrepid and Zac are faring after this leg and determine the best course for him then, but we are definitely leaning towards a non-stop passage to the Caribbean at this point.

There have been some controversial comments made on the blog recently. I dislike moderating the comments; it is very time-consuming and it disturbs the flow of ideas between bloggers. I haven't found any comments that I deem to be blatantly inappropriate here. I think people are perhaps taking offense too quickly. It is inevitable to compare the various solo circumnavigators that are out there right now. Even people who condemn others for doing so, are doing it! In fact, the differences between Zac and Mike's trips are so many, it makes tallying them all the more interesting. No one here has ever condemned Mike or Zac but we have plenty of thought-provoking comments on their boats, equipment, routes etc. This, I believe, should be encouraged. We all are wondering and theorizing who will make it round the youngest. There is no ill will in saying so because someone surely will return the younger! It certainly is interesting timing for sure! Both boys have many miles to cover and much to overcome to even make it around the world. I enjoy healthy debate. One thing I have learned since embarking on this journey is that there is no need to go crazy if someone doesn't agree with you. Be polite, say your peace and enjoy the journey!

Jen has left Cape Town and is en route to St Helena. We won't hear much from her for the 5 days it will take her to arrive there. She is rooming with one of the other 4 women who have booked passage. Should be an interesting story!

We should hear from Zac again in 48 hours all being well.




Blogger Alan said...

Every time I read the blog, I'm amazed at the committment and faith you have as parents. I wonder if I could ever cope with watching my child do something this dramatic... You're really something, both of you! When I was 16, the most my parents would let me do is drive to North Carolina!

Do you know if we need to somehow get a charger on a flight to st helena so he can get the phone working better? Knowing you talk to him every day keeps me sane....

February 23, 2009 at 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jen picked up a sat phone charger in Cape Town and is bringing it to Zac. Thanks for offering. I know if we need something to make sure you all know. It wasa blogger who helped arrange how to get a 13' boom shipped to the little island of Mauritius!

February 23, 2009 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...


We're happy that the sat phone still works sufficiently well that you'll be able to talk with Zac every couple of days. We'll try to be patient when we go a day with no entry. The problem is that when there is silence, we get into the rut wondering, "Oh Lord! What crisis are they all dealing with now?! Could we help if we knew?

Still, it was good news again. Hopefully, Zac got the auto-pilot reassembled and it's working well. What concerns prompted the speculation on changing course for Brazil? He seems to be making fantastic time on this leg so far. With no additional information, my vote is to shoot straight for the Caribbean after departing St. Helena. I'm cheering for that 'straight ahead through the Panama Canal then hand a sharp right towards MDR."

Thanks for being the intermediary between us Zac-Packers and the crew of Intrepid.

The Croaker

February 23, 2009 at 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Glad to hear that Zac is making great time and is sailing under good conditions.

It's also wonderful to see Alan's wonderful post inquiring about how to get Zac a new charger for the SAT phone. How fortunate that Jen will be able to get it to Zac and we won't have communication issues to worry about.

I suppose it is possible that Zac could arrive in St. Helena before Jen, eh? In any event, I do look forward to more of her photos. Is she planning on shadowing Zac beyond St. Helena as he makes his way home?

February 23, 2009 at 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks are a star....well said.
Gosh Zac is traveling so well.Can't believe he has done over 700 miles already....imagine if he is there before Jen!
Good news about the phone charger...we can breath again more easily.
Looking forward to Jen's story about her 5 day trip to St Helena. At least there are a few women on the boat!

Thanks again for the wishes to all the Sunderlands.

UK friend

February 23, 2009 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jen's photo of Intrepid on this post is so beautiful. I am really looking forward to her stories, too, Marianne. She and Zac should bundle their books together and sell them as a set. I say this with a smile as i don't know if Jen is even writing a book on her adventures following Zac around the world but I would be interested in hearing about both journeys.

Being moderator is tough I am sure. I do know that I feel like family to most of us who have been with Zac since the beginning and, of course, remain loyal to him. I do hope that any adversity on the blog comments will come to a halt. Let's keep this a fun place to come and share/support Zac and each other and help this wonderful man achieve his goal.

We have been together a long time and care about the sharing of information that will help the Sunderands one and all.

Just thoughts at the moment. Fair winds for all,
Bend, OR

February 23, 2009 at 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

He's flying along!
For the record I really don't consider the youngest or oldest criteria. I think that anyone who attempts this is 'ballsy' whatever age U are. As long as they all get there safe, sound, and in one piece that's an achievement in itself. I wish Zac would catch some fish though.
I always imagine how good that ice cold beer and greasy cheeseburger must taste when he rocks up to a new port.

February 23, 2009 at 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok i am going to set every one straight on the world record for circumnavigating the globe.
there are three possible records here.
Jessie Martin is the only one so far to be the youngest circumnavigator. he did this non stop and with out assistance.
He crossed all five capes and received no help. he also did this non stop and ventured in to the northern hemishere.Hiss record will still stand.
Mike Perham has his own record attempt. to be the youngest and to cross all five capes. he also ventured in to the nothern hemishere. but is receiving help and is stopping. so even though he will be younger then Jesse Martin and Zac his record will not be considerd the same record.
Now with Zac he will be considered the youngest american that circumnavigated the globe with out crossing the five capes. This record will not be recorded or sanctioned because he is using the Panama Cannal and he is also receiving assistance. This will be a record more for the sense of accomplishment. however Mike Perhams record will be considerd because he is crossing all five capes. What all these young men are doing and have done is remarkable. They deserve to be praised and congradulated.


Mike perham

February 23, 2009 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger davejb851 said...

So good to know that progress towards home is being made. I still check everyday, but my comments are fewer, if only because the words are said over and over by others.

Zac, Mom, and Dad, your efforts continue to amaze all of us, and whether you touch home first, or not it doesn't diminish the accomplishment of a person so young, yet so mature and capable. I am sure the meeting of three circumnavigators was something to be part of. Respect, admiration, and good wishes were undoubtedly shared between all.

The efforts and accomplishments of these two young men will be written about and will become part of sailing history. Take pride in that and all the accomplishments of two lives set on paths of success.
My family and I wish you well, and safe journey, until you touch the hard at the end of your quest.
And the same for Mike.
But also take some lessons from the more experienced of your trio, and do it all with humility, pride and gratitude for those whose support made it all possible.

Head home young man...keep heading home!

February 23, 2009 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Rusty said...

Hello and thanks to all the people directly envloved in helping get Zac around the world safely. By now I imagine that many young folks you will never know have had their lives changed by Zac's courageous adventure. In this troubled time in our country we need heros like this.
If anyone is wondering about Zac's steering gear problems, google "monitor windvane". It is quite a story about how this device was invented and how it works. It is one of the best of it's kind and has been around since the 70's when I did my adventure. Basically it holds the boat to a certain course in relation to the wind not to a compass heading. Wind and water forces pull on gears and lines to the tiller and that steers the boat. A windvane steering system, like Zac's, is like watching a magic show. The upright vane flops back and forth and that turns an oar in the water-- that pulls on lines-- that pulls on the tiller--that moves the rudder--that steers the boat. The wind vane that I used was called a QME and different. It was one of the early crude windvane designs. It didn't work very well and we zig zagged all over the ocean. We didn't care as long as the pointed end of the boat kinda went in the right direction. Uncontrolled jibes going down wind at 3am were a constant worry. I'm glad that Zac has a much better self steering system. It is alot safer.


February 23, 2009 at 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"5 Capes" and "Panama Canal" have nothing to do with it

What you are struggling with is racing.

The record is either non-assist or assist.

Pick your canals :-)

Sanctioning requires $$$$$

It will be better to dontate a few dollars to ole Josh than some "sanctioning" committee.

Suez Canal, Panama Canal, Root Canal...

February 23, 2009 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger MindWalker said...

Jen -
I join hundreds (thousands-?) of others thankful to you for your photograhy of Zac Sunderland.

On the other hand, providing pictures of such reduced size, with your name blazoned on them, I really think you do him a disservice. Perhaps photography is your business, but unless you have a contract with Zac's project, a contract that has you providing full size graphics to them, just what real SERVICE are you providing.

I've been using Zac's photos to prepare a slideshow for him and his family. There aren't any of your photos that will make the grade for that project.

February 23, 2009 at 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

Hi Marianne,

You say it so well. Thanks for another great post and update.


February 23, 2009 at 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wrong my friend. the 5 capes have every thing to do with the record, and has nothing to do with a sailing race. if you do your homework you will see that the record was actually attempted and completed before jessie martin. but that sailor accepted a bolt and was then denied the record. that person was not in a race. Also the canals are not allowed to used. but dont take my word for it. check it and you will. take care

February 23, 2009 at 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The map on the right shows, in red, a typical sailing circumnavigation of the world by the trade winds and the Suez and Panama canals; overlaid in yellow are the points antipodal to all points on the route. It can be seen that the route roughly approximates a great circle, and passes through two pairs of antipodal points. This is a route followed by many cruising sailors; the use of the trade winds makes it a relatively easy sail, although it passes through a number of zones of calms or light winds

In yacht racing, a round-the-world route approximating a great circle would be quite impractical, particularly in a non-stop race where use of the Panama and Suez Canals would be impossible. Yacht racing therefore defines a world circumnavigation to be a passage of at least 21,600 nautical miles (40,000 km) in length which crosses the equator, crosses every meridian and finishes in the same port as it starts.[2] The map on the left shows the route of the Vendée Globe round-the-world race in red; overlaid in yellow are the points antipodal to all points on the route. It can be seen that the route does not pass through any pairs of antipodal points

February 23, 2009 at 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Weide said...

I think the spirit and overtaking to achieve something this insanely great is enough reason to be cherished by all, the journey itself can never be measured correctly of its significance by any other except the sailors themselves.
And, there will always be another that is younger, faster, non-stop, single-handed (one hand tied behind the back :)), heavier/lighter, taller/shorter, half way/twice around the world, using rain water/fishing rods, or not.
Go, Zac! You're your own master on the water. Leave the herding chattering noises to the amazed landlubbers.


February 23, 2009 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Ratty said...

if you want info on the hf sceds try the 2 Roys ie: This Roy is a yachtie who builds boats and has crossed the Atlantic a few times.he is also a radio ham. Roy runs the Peri Peri net.



February 23, 2009 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

Hello Zac, Sunderlands and Fellow Zac-Pac!

Thank you for your post, and Jen's photo.

It's exciting that Zac is back out to sea and on his way to St. Helena, I'm sure he'll remember his Africa trip fondly. My sister Denise spent two weeks in So. Africa last summer and says it has forever changed how she looks at her life here in the US. I'll be interested to hear how it has affected Zac.

It has been such a part of my life since June 08 to come to this blog and check the progress of our Zac. I've had the pleasure of "meeting" other bloggers, shared emails, had a chance to practice my Spanish with Glen, and as a novice sailor I've even picked up some great sailing tips...thanks daveh! Such a blessing, and all of it becasue a family in CA. bravely decided to help their son live his dream and were kind enough to share it with all of us.

I agree with Marianne re the controversial comments. Perhaps the
anonymous bloggers would be so kind as to post an email address so as to better facilitate communication? At least stand behind those questionable "comments" and let thoses so inclined; reply back via email so as to not "clogg" up Zac's space.

Sometimes here in the US we get so wrapped up in being first, or having the biggest, or best or even the greatest.......we forget what's important. When Zac finishes his adventure he will be one of only a handful to sail around the world solo! That in itself is just remarkable, a true testament to his skills, bravery, and faith. No one can ever take that away, it's his and he owns it. Another "title" to go along with it, well just makes it all the nicer.

Blessings to all who have stepped up to lend a hand, say prayers, or send kind words in this adventure. In this day and age it's awesome to witness!

Fair winds and following seas,
Anita Miracle RDH
Waterloo NY
Captain SV "Wombat"
Avid Zac fan!

February 24, 2009 at 3:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The part of this blog string which seems to make what any of these young sailors are doing seem more -or less - important than the other is really unbelieveable. There will be any number of experiences told by them on their return. Listen to the ones where they are alone, on a dark windy night in a vast exapanse of water navigating 30 foot swells......and as a teenager. If only more teens could find the courage.

February 24, 2009 at 4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mindwalker??
Jen is paying her way around the world to document this story, she earnes a living taking photos, not giving them away, what you see on this site is 1/4th what will be seen in the books and story when Zac is back in MDR.I think if you ask for SOME photos to use for your little project she might have some for you to use, but dont just think if you see a photo you can cut and past with out asking first.MAy be drop a few $ in her bank account to keep the photos comming as well.Jen keep up the good work, and did you ever hang out with Erik Bjerring in Cape Town??
C.Alter Dana Point CA.

February 24, 2009 at 5:53 AM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Ahoy Zac,

From New Jersey, I can almost get my telescope out and see you coming, that's way kewl Zac.
Stay safe


February 24, 2009 at 6:20 AM  
Blogger Douglas Pistone said...

Greeting Everyone,

@ Marianne, what a great post. You always manage to say the right thing at the right time. I agree that you should not have to monitor the bloggers but we must all use good judgment before posting anything on ZAC's blog. If we all do this Marianne would never have to go through all the problems of monitoring everyone post here daily. If everyone could put themselves in Marianne's shoes they might realize how much work this venture requires in time and finances. Her other children I'm sure would love to spend more time with Mom also off the computer.

Most everyone here are grown adults. Let's all be kind to one another and make this blog what it was always intended to be. This blog was created to inspire Zac and his incredible journey. Different opinions are great but we need to have uplifting and constructive opinions about everything written here. If you plan on make fun of other bloggers, cut someone else down, or make any negative comments about anything here please keep these negative comments to yourself and PLEASE don't post them.

My personnel comments are now coming.

I love what the Sunderlands have created here. I love being a part of Zac's incredible journey. I love reading all the details of Zac's incredible journey on every blog posted. I love reading everyone positive comments here. I love reading all the different constructive opinions we all have since we are all so different. Most of all, I pray for all the circumnavigators safe passage. All these records in my mind don't matter one bit. It's the action of going into that big blue ocean and going something that few people will ever experience. It's about making a commitment, setting a goal, and making it happen.

Let's always keep this uplifting and making this a joy for Marianne and the whole Sunderland family. I believe they have earned the right to work on this blog but they also deserve to enjoy everyone's uplifting and constructive comments.

Forget about who will make it back first, who will hold the record, what route they take, who will be the youngest, and lets cheer them all on and pray for everyone's safe passage. This is my hearts desires for everyone out on that big blue ocean crossing it all alone.

Highly Opinionated Today,
Douglas Pistone
MDR, California

February 24, 2009 at 6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there are was there a technical purpose in stopping at St Helena? It's all of 10 days out from Cape Town. Is it to shake out the cobwebs from the overhaul in Cape Town and/or replenish 10 days supplies that have been consumed? As we know now he'll be picking up a new charger for the phone. But was there a purpose or reason to stop there in the original planning?

If you punch in the coordinates in Google earth, Cape Town to St Helena is 2000 miles away, already half way there, looks so far on the map but seems to have gone so quickly at the same time. From St. Helena to NE tip of South America, looks like exactly another 2000 miles. Again looks so scary far away, but if it took 10 days to St Helena, then all of another 10 days to there. From there also looks like another 2000 miles into the Caribbean Basin. And on the map just seems like miles and miles of ocean, but when broken down like this, 10 days x 3 points it, to us arm chair sailors seems quite manageable. Long long haul though for Zac. What is the anticipated weather patterns once crossing the equator? Smooth sailing since the Northern Hemisphere is coming into Spring? Looking at Mike's sail down from that way there were some seriously calm days. Does Zac have a bbq on board? A little firebox that he can hang on the back? How tasty would it be to catch some fresh fish, fire up the hiabatichi and eat like a king in the middle of the trip in the middle of the ocean.

Just curious as to the original idea for stopping at St Helena after just 10 days out.

February 24, 2009 at 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl in San Diego said...

Hi Everyone,
It's been awhile since I actually read any comments, be assured though that the first palce I go when I turn on my computer in the morning is Zac's blog.
Record this, record that...who cares! I can't imagine Zac trading even a second of his many experiences even the scary ones just to be the youngest circumnavigator. Isn't he already in the record books, isn't his name going to be mentioned every time the discussion of youngest circumnavigator comes up? Besides as we all know records are made to be broken.
I like most of you know that Zac's achievments are way beyond words, the experiences he has had and the ones yet to come are all straight out of a real life story book. My gosh thanks to Zac I have been to, meet wonderful people and explored Maurano, Port Moresby, Darwin, Mauritius, Cocos-Keeling, Durbin, Cape Town. Now I am off to St Helena! Thank you Zac, Mom and Dad for taking me along! What an adventure!
Oh by the way, I do beleive that Zac will become the youngest circumnavigator and that right now there is another young man dreaming of beating his record!
Let's continue to pray for both Zak's and Mike's safety.

February 24, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger MindWalker said...

To all the ZacPac, and especially to Jen --

I have been contacted about my earlier comment seeming harsh toward Jen's motivation for her photos.

Allow me to offer a sincere apology for that tone.

February 24, 2009 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Heidi said...

(@Alan... I agree with you!) Marianne, as a parent, I respect and honour your commitment and love for your son. Having kids the same age and being sailors makes it all the more relavent. We all have much to learn from not only your gracious manner in reporting and moderating comments but also from Zac. He seems wise beyond his years.

Hopefully he can get on the South Atlantic net so that you have an alternate way of contacting one another should you not be able to get the charger to him.

May fair winds and following seas bring him swiftly and safely to St Helena.

February 24, 2009 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@MindWalker - that is very upstanding of you...

February 24, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Daveh said...

The few people that do express some concerns about Mike’s equipment issues, OR express some healthy and FUN “competiveness” saying; “Zac will be first” or “Zac is the best” have a right to share that feeling…

I believe people sharing their concerns about Mike, or even some fun about Zac is best, or Zac will win is fine… They are excited for Zac, but I’m sure they have no ill will for Mike, come on….

Some of the best communications I’ve had were offline (you know, that thing called eMail that Anonymous apparently doesn’t have???) but some of those exchanges with others via eMail have been some of the best communications I’ve had on the Zac adventure… If we had posted our thoughts on comments on the blog, Anonymous would have blasted us, regardless of the validity, value, or the sharing of our sailing and passage-making knowledge…

I find it interesting that Mr. or Mrs “Anonymous” pounces on those comments so quickly, like it’s a jab a them personally…

I feel for Marianne, with everything she has going on, has to moderate the blog… man…

Good luck to all,
Daveh & Skipper

February 24, 2009 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Fulgum said...

Sounds like things are going fine. How are things in the Atlantic? I've always heard that the Atlantic Ocean is much rougher than the Pacific. Here's hoping everything stays smooth!

Thanks for the update, Marianne!



February 24, 2009 at 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

i want mike too win cos hes better looking and has a really cool boat!! :-)

February 24, 2009 at 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike cannot win. His boat is French. His rudder is French. His auto-pilot is French. The French hate the British, therefore they sabotaged his boat. Don't know why they slept with the enemy.He should have stuck with a good old HMS vessel. Just ask Napoleon's ghost about all of that on St Helena :-)))

After his final defeat at Waterloo and his subsequent second exile, Napoleon Bonaparte spent 10 weeks on board the HMS Northumberland as it sailed him to the far-flung reaches of the South Atlantic.

His destination was St Helena, a small and windswept island under British control. Almost 2000 kilometres west of Africa, St Helena measured only 122 square kilometres (47 square miles) - half the size of his former home-in-exile, Elba.

His intended home, Longwood, was not finished by the time he arrived and so Bonaparte stayed with a British family - the Balcombes- at their residence The Briars. He made a great friend of the family's younger daughter Betsy and the pair got on famously.

There was much rancour between Bonaparte and the British governor of the island, Sir Hudson Lowe, and the former emperor complained bitterly of his treatment.

Bonaparte complained about not being able to ride without a British escort, however, he apparently refused to even accept riding within sight of them as it was "offensive" to him.

Another sore point was Lowe's refusal to call the former emperor "your majesty". He instead called his prisoner "General Bonaparte."

February 24, 2009 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Croaker of FrogPond said...

Back again:

I came on board as a Zac-Packer before departure from MDR. It seemed like an interesting thing to do ... keep up with this young man who might set a world record and I couldn't have been more right in deciding to "go along" for the the ride. As the adventure has progressed and Zac began having experiences both at sea and in port, the 'record' aspect sort of melted away. What Zac Sunderland (and Mike Perham) is doing is far more than a feat. What we're witnessing is an exercise in personal and spiritual growth; and it's like Grandpaw might have said, "Records don't last. Character do!!!" Zac may or may not temporarily occupy printed space in a record book, but he is forever changed by his experiences and insights into himself and the world. Come what may, he will have an impact upon his present family and the one that he'll someday create, his community, and who knows what else. If he's not making history, in some way, however small, he's changing history.

Sorry about the philosophical flight there, but I was thinking in abstractions trying to figure out some way to ream out Mindwalker for his comments about Jen without upsetting Marianne who is trying to make ladies and gentlemen of us all -- that maternal instinct of her's! C.Atler of Dana Point covered it well and much better than I could. It's also noted that Mindwalker apologized in form for his disparaging remarks. (See, Marianne, It's working!) I hope the apology has some substance.

We've all been together here for many months. Let's play well with others, don't run with scissors, don't eat the glue, etc.

Let's think about Zac, Mike, and Saito-san and not our personal prejudices. It makes life so much less complicated.

The Croaker

February 24, 2009 at 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Rory Gogan Singapore said...

Purpose of stopping over in St. Helena: I'm thinking a cold beer and a greasy cheeseburger.
Yeah poor Napolean. Defeated by an Irishman at Waterloo by the name of Wellington from Cork. I guess the Brits needed a real scrappy fighter and the Irish delivered. So Napolean was banished to St Helena to eat British cuisine :-). Talking about ending on a low note!

February 24, 2009 at 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Ginger in Colorado said...

To the "Highly Opinionated" Douglas Pistone.....AMEN to all your comments. I second everything you so beautifully said!

Many blessings to you Zac and to the terrific Sunderland family!

February 24, 2009 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

I started posting here daily when Zac first left MDR. At that point of the journey, he truly seemed young and in need of encouragement. I would read his almost daily posts, and feel the need to pray and care about him.

As he sailed further into his journey you could see his changing, growing and maturing, and I still felt a need to pray, but less of a need for daily encouragement or blogging, just as he seemed to not need to blog here on a daily basis anymore.

At first it bothered me, but I needed to realize and understand what he is doing is not about this blog at all. Mike Perham' site doesn't even have a place to blog. But like Zac, I love reading his posts, and to see that there are two young kids doing incredible things. It must be what a parent feels when a child is growing and seems to be pulling away from them because they are growing up. You have to let go.

At each stop Zac has found admirers, new friends, and had found his groove. I don't worry about him like I did in the beginning, although I still pray for him every day. I have had my share of nasty emails from certain bloggers, and great emails too from Marianne, Bill, and Daveh, etc.

I will look forward to purchasing Jen's final product, Zac's book or movie, or hopefully something that Marianne or Laurence write. They have truly been two people I admire as much as Zac.

Also in this time of serious troubles for so many who are hurting due to the economy, it is a nice escape to watch Zac and Mike. But reality is, that others need prayer just to survive, so I am praying for many. But most important, Zac and his family are in my prayers daily.

Best regards,

February 24, 2009 at 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

ohhh, this blog gets more dramatic as time goes on! I rarely stop to read the comments anymore, due to the bickering and criticisms... I enjoy reading Zac's blog and/Marianne's updates and Laurence's blogs too with his fabulous photos! But I just don't usually enter into the world of the "comments". until today... when I've read both yesterdays and todays and well, guess I'll have to remember things haven't changed much...

Daveh: your comments are very interesting and thought provoking.

Croaker: you've made me laugh on more than one occasion!

Rory: you make me laugh on every occassion!

Melanie: you seem very nice ALL the time!

Jen: your photo's are great! thank you for taking on such a journey.

Love the sound of the signout... Your Oklahoma Wellwisher! makes me want to visit! as does Your UK Friend!

Peter: I personally enjoyed your very informative comments from the've been missed by many!

to everyone who is new and not so new, it's a real fine line this internet blogging and remember your words are read by a human!

I'll reserve the right to not check on comments until Zac reaches Panama! as for Mike... he rocks too!


February 25, 2009 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi There Zac,

It sounds like you are having very good winds and seas on this leg. Just maybe the Atlantic will be the better of the oceans you have passed over. Hey, I just wanted to pass on a word of encouragement to you. As I look back on what you have accomplished and the ability you have had to stay with it, I think you should be very proud of what you have done. And as you reflect back on everything, remember all those that have had a part (no matter how small) in making this possible. No man is an island. Being humble is a great virtue. You are and have been a wonderful Ambassador for the U.S.A., for sailing, and for your generation. It is men like you that give us older guys a renewed hope for our country and future leaders. Thanks for letting us tag along and have a feeling that we have lived this adventure alongside you. With that said, how about giving us one of those blog entries from your insight that describes again the sights, sounds, smells and other aspects of what you get to enjoy while we are where we are. Then we can read and close our eyes and be taken out to sea with you.
Zac, always know that you have many, many friends that admire you and even though we may never meet in person, now count you as a friend we will never forget.

Bob in OKC

February 25, 2009 at 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's really cool is all the time-zone's Zac is now crossing to get back home. You can tick off the hours as they count down each step of the way. Cape Town was 10 hours ahead of California. Cape Town is GMT+2, Zac's already crossed GMT+1 and as of today probably (hopefully) GMT(0) and will arrive at St Helena in the next few days. Which is GMT (0). Which is now 8 hours behind California. And the further he sails West, the closer of course he gets to him "own" time zone and the hours tick down each step of the way. :-)

Did someone forget to ask Rolex to sponser Zac a nice shiney Rolex GMT II I notice in all the pics. he doesn't or wasn't wearing a watch. GMT II with a 24 hour hand would have, and still can be perfect hint hint ;-)

February 25, 2009 at 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Peter, Mike's site does have a blog - it's worth reading, he's an excellent writer.

February 25, 2009 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi Anonymous,

What I meant to say is Mike's blog doesn't have a place for replies and comments. I read it daily. He posts daily, and its a great read. I wish with the best too!

I also admired the bond that happened in Cape Town with Zac, and how Mike also was impressed with the Sunderlands.

February 25, 2009 at 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter, it sure does, just scroll down here:

You need to click on each title of each new blog entry there to see the comment sections (and make comments).

February 25, 2009 at 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a whole lot of travel info about St Helena on the internet. Couldn't even find hotels and restaurants. Came across this tourist reported wiki travel entry if anyone interested. While the whole island seems steeped in history, seems to be max 2 day stay over before you become bored LOL. What looks super cool are those stairs, Jacob's Ladder. I was wondering what Zac does excersise wise on Intrepid weeks on end sailing. Must be hard after being a football player working out religiously, specially the legs, to then be sequestered on a tiny boat for so long. Maybe a run up and down those stairs are in order once he arrives :-)

February 25, 2009 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi Anonymous,

Wow! Thanks so much. I had no idea you could post on his blog. I appreciate the information. Don't know how I missed that. But I think I will stick to this community and just read Mike's words!

February 25, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this may seem like a strange question, but i have the same kind of boat as Zac, and wanted to know where he installed his 2x8D batteries?


February 25, 2009 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Daveh said...

@ Anonymous – re: Zac working out…

It’s a good question, but trust me, there’s PLENTY of exercise going on, all day, even when he’s sleeping, no joke…

Imagine, going up and down companion way steps a few hundered times a day!

Imagine leaning over the transom, in 12’ seas, fixing the windvane, using your legs to strap yourself rigid, and your back and abs are getting an amazing workout, as is your arms and neck.

Imagine cranking the winches and reefing the boom in 25kts and 8-12’ seas…

In the conditions he’s in, it’s sometimes a workout just standing there…

And also, when you’re sleeping, or trying to sleep, you body rarely 100% relaxes because you’re always moving around. I’ve had to strap myself in so I would get tossed to the other side of the boat…

One thing you can’t imagine though, is Mr. Zac, catching a fish… I’m going to have to take him out when he gets back and show him a trick or too [laughing]

However, you are right, I bet he’ll hit Jacob’s Ladder!

To the other blogger that asked why is he stopping, maybe this will help… sometimes it’s nice to get a hot shower (with fresh vs. salt water) and actually get 4-5 nights of good sleep. Although the first few nights in a calm port, you don’t sleep well, it’s too calm…. cRaZy but true… Lord forbid if he sleeps on land the first night, he’ll get seasick and toss that new steak up…

Take care,
Daveh & Skipper

February 25, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Jan H. said...

I've been a lurker until now, but feel compelled to comment on the record attempt. From the beginning I've wished Zac would slow down and enjoy the journey, much like Robin Graham did. The record means little, it is the experience that matters most. I am so honored to be allowed to eavesdrop on some of that. Stop at St. Helena? Heck, yes! Who knows what adventure awaits there. Enjoy the ride!

--Jan from Orange County

February 25, 2009 at 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

From a silent (up to this point) follower and admirer: Don't rule out Brazil for the reasons cited in the post. My family and I picked up our catamaran in Aracaju, Brazil in early '06, and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. If Zac's looking for a place to stop to break up the journey, I'd suggest Forteleza. It's a thoroughly modern, large city, "around the corner" of S. America, so the sailing is all downhill and down current to Trinidad, about 1600 miles. Are there dangerous parts of Fortelza? Of course, as in any large city. The biggest difficulty we had was the language; we don't speak Portugeuse and not many English speakers.

Keep up the good work!

February 25, 2009 at 12:42 PM  

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